Jun 25, 2020
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Press Conference June 25
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy held a press conference on June 25. Read the full transcript here.
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Kevin McCarthy: (00:00)
… in this exact room. And some of you pushed me to say what my red lines were in the Democrat bill. It was Jake continuing to ask, but Jake actually made it clear in the playbook PM. I didn’t want what I may have disagreed with, to get in the way of reaching a consensus. I literally said I would not point out where I disagree because I want to find places we can agree. I want to make law. Contrast to how Speaker Pelosi responded to Senator Tim Scott’s bill. She said, “Republicans are trying to get away with murder. The murder of George Floyd.”
Kevin McCarthy: (00:43)
Tim Scott has not been working on this bill just for one month. This has been a life passion of Tim with his own personal life experience. That’s why he found his success when opportunity zones are funding black colleges. Her words are reprehensible. This is actually a new low for Speaker Pelosi when it comes to just trying to score points with our newly radical base. Think for one moment. This is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The job of speaker is too big for words so small.
Kevin McCarthy: (01:25)
Does anyone in her conference stand by her on these words? Do they call Tim Scott wanting to get away with murder? Contrast what happened in the Senate yesterday. Simple request to get on the bill where you could start debating to become law. Democrats said they would need amendments. First five was going to be a good enough. No. Went as far as to offer 20 amendments, just to start the debate, contrast to what we see here. From committee to floor, not one Republican amendment is going to be allowed.
Kevin McCarthy: (02:07)
Never consulted us on the creation of this bill. I have reached out to those on the Democrat side, explaining that I wanted to make law. I wanted to work together and I still do. The only place this is a holdup because the Democrats partisanship to try to make this political, instead of finding a solution. Schumer has no reason why not to debate the bill. Even being given 20 amendments. Name me one amendment Republicans are being offered to even debate on the floor, not one. Name me one amendment that the Democrats allowed in committee. Name me one meeting the Democrats had in crafting their bill with anybody on the other side.
Kevin McCarthy: (02:59)
And then the words of the speaker. America expects more and deserves more. Perhaps the speaker is being silent on the rioters and criminals who continue to destroy and deface the heroes and history of our country and assault innocent citizens, because she wants to appease the radical left. The statue of Saint Serra in the speaker’s own district was destroyed. I joined the speaker in praying with Pope Francis in front of Saint Serra statue in the Capitol in 2015.
Kevin McCarthy: (03:41)
When the mob wanted to destroy it, she condoned it like she never heard of Saint Serra, a bit like Peter’s denial. And this week in Wisconsin, criminals took down the statues of an abolitionist who died fighting to end slavery during the Civil War and Lady Forward, a symbol of women’s suffrage movement. Worse, they physically assaulted a Democrat State Senator kicking him in the head, knocking him out cold. So much for peaceful protest that the speaker continues to celebrate.
Kevin McCarthy: (04:17)
Civil society cannot survive with this type of lawlessness. If cities and state leaderships failed to uphold the rule of law, Congress should move to withhold their funding. The time for warnings have elapsed. Order will be restored. Republicans have spoken up and the silence on the left has been deafening. It’s time to restore this nation and rebuild it. And the way you do that is you start by passing a bipartisan bill that will become law.
Kevin McCarthy: (04:52)
You look at Tim Scott’s, you look at the Democrats. 70, 80% is in both bills. This is the moment in time that we should rise to the occasion. And all my language and all my work has been simply for that, to have a solution. With the speaker, it’s been all politics. Putting us on a course for failure. With that, let me open up for questions. Yes, ma’am.
Speaker 2: (05:26)
Senator McCarthy, yesterday some Republicans indicated that the president needs to just change his strategy and perhaps his tone if he wants to win reelection. Does he need to change the strategy?
Kevin McCarthy: (05:37)
Look, I think the president’s best strategies were working too. I know his opponent Biden has not come out. What’s his plan for the economy? Who’s best to rebuild this economy? Who’s best to stand up to China. Who’s best to put the best days in front of us? I think president Trump will win overwhelming simply on that. Lets the debate. I know Joe Biden wants to fear for a debate. He shouldn’t fear. Let’s talk about ideas. What idea has Joe Biden put out there? The sooner the campaign starts, the sooner the numbers will go up.
Speaker 2: (06:10)
The polls are devastating for the president in the past week or so. So believe in the polls or not, what does the president need to do differently to change the trajectory of what polls are showing?
Kevin McCarthy: (06:23)
Look, I think the easiest thing to do is you simply talk about the issues and look at the plan. Put both plans up and I know the president of win reelection. Who is best to rebuild the economy? Because you’ve seen both men. You’ve seen an economy under Biden and you’ve seen an economy under Trump, the strongest economy you’ve ever had for every walk of life. And still a virus from a far distance land that we did not invite or did not request, hit us. But we will rebuild and we will restore and we will be stronger. Yes.
Speaker 3: (07:05)
The Democrat bill doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere in the Senate. What do you see for the next steps? What would you kind of like to see happen next?
Kevin McCarthy: (07:10)
Well the first thing we should do, we should go to conference. Schumer should allow the Senate bill to be debated and go to conference just like anything else with any other issue. If they do not, it simply shows that they’re playing politics. I’m interested where my own Senator, I know her craving to be a vice president, made a political decision yesterday to not even allow to be debated.
Kevin McCarthy: (07:37)
How does she answer all of those in California that may be crave to have some reform? How does she answer to the Floyd family that she would not even debate the issue or allow it to come up? Because that’s what that vote was. It was a purely political vote and that’s wrong. Yes.
Speaker 4: (07:57)
On another topic, the Senate voted last week on this major public lands package, it’s backed by the president. It’s going to come up on the floor at the end of next month. Some of your Republican colleagues have concerned about this bill. Do you support it? Are you going to vote for it?
Kevin McCarthy: (08:11)
Yes, I support it. I think it will be signed into law. It’s time we fund our parks. It’s something that we’ve been working towards for quite some time. Yes.
Speaker 5: (08:19)
When the House Judiciary Committee considered the Equality Act, it rejected an amendment that said the act would not require biological females to face biological males in sports competition. Should biological males who say they identify as females, be allowed to play girls sports?
Kevin McCarthy: (08:37)
You know, that becomes a real challenge. I have a daughter. It becomes a fairness issue and I think that’s a real problem and I think that’s wrong. Just as many others throughout this country do as well. Yes.
Speaker 6: (08:48)
There’s been this politicization of big crowds depending on whether or not you approve of the reason for the crowd gathering. So just like to ask you more broadly, do you do images of tens of thousands of people together, whether it be for George Floyd protests or whether it be for a gathering that the president has or a rally? Do you think those images are making Americans complacent about coronavirus about social distancing, given that the past week we’ve seen cases in hospitalizations again rise?
Kevin McCarthy: (09:16)
I know we’re coming after a couple of weeks after all these protests and I know they get passionate and I watched them on TV where I see people screaming. And remember, we learn something new about this virus every day. And we understand that’s one of the biggest ways that you will catch it and how close people are together. I remember seeing in LA a drone go over where thousands of people standing right next to one another for long periods of times.
Kevin McCarthy: (09:44)
And then I just watched California spike what 70% that we haven’t seen before. And you know it takes almost up to 14 days, anywhere from three to 14 before you see the spike and that’s round the timing of this happening. It was concerning to me that would take place. So no matter whether you’re in a big crowd or a small crowd, we should all remember, continue to wash your hands, social distancing, wearing the mask and others. I think those are the best ways as we move through this.
Kevin McCarthy: (10:11)
Also, let’s make sure we learn from the mistakes of what happened in New York. Let’s look after our most vulnerable. What is happening in these nursing homes overwhelmingly the deaths that were caused by that. Well, we watched governors pushing people into these nursing homes. I’ve got a nursing home problem in my own district. Let’s learn from the mistakes what we saw happen in New York that we don’t. So let’s take care of those most vulnerable going forward. Now we’re finding after these protests, we are having a spike when it comes to younger people as well. It is a real concern and it should be for all. Yes.
Speaker 7: (10:49)
Mr. McConnell rejected the House proposal pretty much as soon as he heard it. You saw Senator Schumer or what he had to say about Tim Scott’s bill. It seems that neither side is willing to give at all.
Kevin McCarthy: (11:01)
What Durbin had to say about Tim Scott’s bill?
Speaker 7: (11:03)
Kevin McCarthy: (11:04)
Yeah. Who in America supports that? Who in America thinks Tim Scott in leading his life and spending his commitment on the experiences he had, even as a US Senator, Tim Scott was stopped, questioned whether he was a Senator. When he had his Senate pin on, they asked him who he took it from. And the speaker of this house claims that Tim Scott is about a murder when he’s committed his life to making a difference, that’s appalling to me. Or Durbin saying it’s a token. That’s appalling to me. Or the idea that Democrats on the Senate side would not even allow the bill to come up. Do they care about the issue or do they want to play politics?
Kevin McCarthy: (11:52)
A simple example would be amendments on this side as well. You have enough people. You have shadow voting where you got all these votes in your pocket. So the people don’t even have to be here on your side. You’re guaranteed a win, but you’re guaranteeing you’re not going to solve the problem by what they’re doing. And that’s appalling to me. And it’s unacceptable.
Speaker 7: (12:15)
… on both sides. Do you think police reform is effectively dead for the year?
Kevin McCarthy: (12:19)
I don’t get to determine that. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because of the rules of the Senate. And they both apparently made a decision to kill these bills. That will not stop us from working, trying to solve it. Thankfully, the president took executive order action. Otherwise, there would be no change. Yes.
Speaker 8: (12:43)
The president has been describing the coronavirus, he’s been calling me the kung flu. Do you think that’s an appropriate way to characterize the coronavirus?
Kevin McCarthy: (12:51)
Do you think that’s the most pressing issue you have about the coronavirus?
Speaker 8: (12:55)
Think about that.
Kevin McCarthy: (12:55)
I know, but what I’m thinking about is why that is your most pressing issue as a question? Well, when we just seen a spike in Coronavirus, you’re concerned about somebody on the way they name it. That’s appalling to me. You know what? I think we should all focus, learn more about this disease and stop this virus. But every time I’ve come here, you’ve always had those type of questions. It’s interesting to me, if that’s what your viewers care most about, because you know what my constituents care most about? Their safety and their health.
Kevin McCarthy: (13:28)
And if you want to debate, what’s it called and what’s it not, that’s not what they’re debating. They want to make sure they see a vaccine for it and that’s what we’re moving towards. Therapies for it and you see great movement. We’ve done things this country has never done when it come to the FDA and others. So no, that’s not my biggest concern. My biggest concern is the safety of Americans and that’s what I look for.
Speaker 8: (13:50)
Should testing be ramped up?
Kevin McCarthy: (13:51)
Thank you all very much. I appreciate the time.